Monday, November 18, 2013

What Does It Mean for a Testing Agency to Be Accredited?

“To attest to and approve as meeting a prescribed standard.” This is one definition of the word “accredited.” While it’s not the only definition, it’s the one that best describes the use of the word in the world of building product testing and certification.
Part 1
To become accredited, a testing lab must go through an extensive certification process. This process includes a thorough analysis of the lab’s:
o   Quality program and procedures
o   Quality documents
o   Documented examples of the program’s use and success
Part 2
The accreditation body wants to make sure the lab it’s certifying has a proper quality program that contains checks and balances, clear direction, and a means of assigning accountability. It also looks at the lab’s technical competency ― can it perform the tests within the scope of work it’s being certified for?
Part 3
Once the initial certification is complete and a lab is approved for a defined scope of work, it’s evaluated on a predetermined frequency to maintain its accreditation. NTA is accredited through the International Accreditation Service (IAS). IAS acts as the overseeing accreditation body that makes sure NTA maintains a functioning quality program and abides by policies written in accordance with the standard to which we’re certified. This standard is the ISO/IEC 17025: General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.  
Why it matters
Whether you’re choosing a testing lab, a calibration provider (if you are, be sure to read Tessa Parshall’s blog: Choosing a Calibration Provider) or any other type of supplier, wouldn’t you want one that’s being held to the highest levels of excellence and has the credentials to prove it?   

We're accredited
NTA is an accredited, third-party testing agency capable of providing a wide range of testing, inspection and certification services. For more information about what we have to offer you, contact us.

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